EMS Week celebrates all who make emergency services possible

Published: May. 25, 2023 at 12:16 AM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Emergency service providers are being celebrated across the country this week for National EMS Week.

“Unlike a lot of health care professionals that may specialize in specific populations, EMS providers have to be able to handle any emergency,” Daniel Linkins, Central Shenandoah Regional Director of EMS said.

The Central Shenandoah EMS Council said the industry is still largely volunteer-based with Harrisonburg having one of the largest volunteer agencies.

”EMS providers have to be able to handle any emergency and so you may respond to a newborn child who has special health care needs, and the next call could be a 95-year-old with chronic health care conditions,” Linkins said.

EMS providers have different levels of training for each position held.

“It certainly can be a dangerous profession not just physically because of the environments we work in, the things they’re exposed to, whether there’s toxic chemicals or even blood borne pathogens. However, it can also be very traumatic mentally, so we deal with a lot of mental health challenges just because of the nature of things providers see so we like to highlight that and make sure were supporting and appreciating what they do,” Linkins said.

He said EMS Week is about celebrating not only the providers who arrive on scene but all who help behind the scenes.

“This year’s theme for EMS Week is EMS -- where emergency care begins, but the EMS system is really much larger than just your EMS providers on the scene,” Linkins said.

From 911 dispatchers to those trained in CPR, all help emergency services operations go over smoothly day to day.

‘They really are neighbors helping neighbors on a daily basis,” Linkins said.